Kobalt Computers Ltd gone bust (while in posession of my laptop) 39 replies

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Tanith

Lovely weather here

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27th September 2006

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#1 7 years ago

Kobalt Computers was a small UK based computer company that sold various customizable PC & Laptop models.

I bought my laptop from them about 2 years ago, was a great service, they tended to be very customer friendly etc.

Fast forward to this year. On the 8th of September Kobalt received my laptop via recorded delivery and included was a RMA form (form containing my name, address, model number, serial, info about the problem etc) in order to repair damage to it's hinges.

Was given an estimate for the repairs on the 21st of September via their support ticket system and was told that they needed to order parts and that they would take 7-10 days to arrive.

After about 2 weeks I tried contacting them again various times and I received no reply.

On Tuesday the message on their homepage changed to the following:

Following a shareholders meeting on Tuesday 11th October 2011 it was decided that Kobalt Computers Ltd could no longer meet it's ongoing financial obligations and would therefore be forced to cease trading with immediate effect.

The exact reasons for the cessation of operations will be detailed on this website in due course. However, at this point in time, the Directors would like to make it clear that were it not for the actions of two separate companies contracted to provide merchant services to Kobalt that this decision would not have been forced upon the shareholders of Kobalt and the company would have continued its strong and rapid growth. The Directors and Shareholders of Kobalt worked tirelessly in attempting to resolve the situation that led to today's announcement. It was an extremely difficult decision to reach but was the only option left due to the untennable position that the company had been forced into.

The Directors would like to thank the staff of Kobalt for their dedication and hard work during what has been an extremely difficult time.

I assume that they never got the parts they would have needed to repair my laptop and gladly no money exchanged hands. But I have tried contacting them again (I no longer have access to their support ticket system, I'm starting to doubt that they're still checking e-mails sent to their company addresses but I have also sent them letters).

I'm willing to give them a bit more leeway in order to respond to me as their company went bust only very recently but if they don't can someone suggest the best course of action I should take?

Legally where do I stand regarding this? they essentially are in possession of my property and I want it back.




D3matt

I take what n0e says way too seriously

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20th November 2007

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#2 7 years ago

If they were contractually obliged to return your laptop to you, then this contract still applies even if the company is "no longer trading".




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#3 7 years ago

So you can't contact them by telephone? If it isn't too far away I'd try going there, although it is possible that their locations have closed down.

Maybe you have to figure our who administers the insolvency and provide evidence that the laptop is yours and that it was received by them. Data on the insolvency should be available to the public somewhere, maybe you have to call your city council.

Not sure how it is in the UK, but in Germany you'd have a special status in litigation in this case because your claim isn't just of a financial nature.




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

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#4 7 years ago

You'd be best served to ask an actual attorney (whichever sort handles contract disputes over there) and asking. It's one of those things will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Here in the US, for example, you could very likely lose the laptop if it was claimed by or sold to satisfy a creditor, thanks to provisions in the UCC. The exact opposite could happen, however, for much the same reason as MrFancypants suggests (it's a claim to chattels rather than debt).

Best of luck to you, but I'd contact an attorney pretty quick if I were you.




Tanith

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#5 7 years ago

Finally got a responce from them via e-mail

Dear Sir/Madam It is with great regret that on Tuesday 11th September 2011 Kobalt Computers Ltd ceased trading and a note was placed on the company website to this effect.

If your contact is regarding an order or outstanding RMA please contact the registered company address by letter only and state that you wish to be listed as an unsecured creditor of Kobalt Computers Ltd. The company to be assigned to manage the affairs of Kobalt Computers Ltd after it ceased trading will then be in contact with you.

Have found out that at the moment an administrator to manage their assets is still to be appointed. Any idea how long that process normally takes?




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#6 7 years ago

No idea, but don't write them that you are an unsecured creditor. The e-mail seems to say that they are going to sell your laptop and use that money to pay off secured creditors and give a fraction of the rest to unescured creditors.

Maybe it is better to contact a lawyer about this.




Goody. VIP Member

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#7 7 years ago

That sounds about right however your laptop is not the property of the company and selling it would in reality constitute theft. What you need to do is contact citizens advice first (if your in the UK) and if needs be a lawyer. You should also right to them and state that you want your property back (be prepared to have to pay for p&p) but don't stop pestering them regarding your property. If they do go down the selling your laptop route or sugest that then in the UK you can pay around £25 and take them to the small claims court and if you win they have to pay the fees. Again though get intouch with CA and then a lawyer.

Never send original documents to the the people sorting this out. That is your only proof the laptop is yours. ALways send a copy regardless of how much they may protest.




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

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#8 7 years ago

Goody.;5572336That sounds about right however your laptop is not the property of the company and selling it would in reality constitute theft. What you need to do is contact citizens advice first (if your in the UK) and if needs be a lawyer. You should also right to them and state that you want your property back (be prepared to have to pay for p&p) but don't stop pestering them regarding your property. If they do go down the selling your laptop route or sugest that then in the UK you can pay around £25 and take them to the small claims court and if you win they have to pay the fees. Again though get intouch with CA and then a lawyer.

Never send original documents to the the people sorting this out. That is your only proof the laptop is yours. ALways send a copy regardless of how much they may protest.

Sound advice.

I would caution, however, that it may not be theft in the traditional sense. I don't know how divergent they have become, but American law is almost wholly based on English common law, and over here the sale of the laptop after a company goes broke (or even before, quite frankly) is not criminal. It's just a massive problem with personal property law.

I'd suggest acting sooner (as in, tomorrow) rather than later. Though bankruptcy proceedings are usually pretty slow, and I suspect that's true no matter where you are.




Freyr VIP Member

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6th February 2005

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#9 7 years ago

Yes, but the laptop is completely owned by him, and it was only in the companies possession for a repair job. My understanding of the situation is that they can't sell it, since they don't have any claim to the laptop.

If you haven't said that you wish to be placed on their list as an unsecured creditor, then personally I wouldn't do so without taking legal advice from a Solicitor. I'm not that familiar with the law on insolvency, however i'm pretty confident that by doing so you would be accepting that you would only receive a very minimal payment for them selling your laptop, which I don't think you want to do so.

I would be inclined to send them a letter by recorded delivery worded something like this:-

Dear Sirs,

I write further to my letters of 00th month, 00th month, 00th month and 00th month concerning my laptop, which have not received the courtesy of a reply.

As you will be aware from previous letters, I sent Kobalt Computers Ltd my laptop on *date* for a repair. Since this date I understand that the company has ceased trading, and I understand that the company has no intention of honoring the agreement to perform the repair on my laptop. I am disturbed to discover that your company now apparently intends to sell all equipment in that was contained within the Kobalt computers Ltd premises, including my property.

Since I indisputably own my laptop outright and it is simply in your possession through your management of Kobalt computers, I beleive that for your company to appropriate and sell equipment that it has no claim to ownership of (namely my laptop) would constitute a criminal offence. Should you not respond to this letter in a satisfactory manner within 7 days then I reserve the right to take action in the county courts against your company to recover my property.

I would like to stress that this is a step that I do not wish to take, and I hope that this situation represents an oversight on your part. I would be happy to resolve this situation amicably by collecting my property.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

yourname

Make sure you include your address in the footnotes, so they know where to write back to.

That said, Goody is spot on with the point about the small claims court being the best way forward should you need to take legal action. You also don't need a solicitor for the small claims court.

Do let us know what ends up happening. I'll be quite interested to see if that letter intimidates them into giving you what you want and avoiding court. Nobody (including solicitors!) ever wants to go to court, you can never tell what the outcome will be.

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Tanith

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27th September 2006

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#10 7 years ago

Thanks for the responses.

I was going to write a letter asking to be placed as a unsecured creditor before reading these responses, will defo hold off doing that now.

I'm going to go to the Citizens Advice Bureau tomorrow regarding this, hopefully they will help me to sort this out.